A large man with a walrus mustache pulled me aside at last weekend's Virtual Worlds Forum in London to show me the latest milestone in the Lindens' open source viewer initiative. With support from IBM's UK division, the small startup Pelican Studios has created inDuality, a universal metaverse plug-in that lets you run interactive, high-resolution 3D graphics on a browser. Including, as the above screenshot shows, Second Life itself. The web-based SL interfaces created by Katharine Berry and the Japanese company behind Movable Life only provide limited access to specific Second Life features, like chat and teleporting. This offers much more than that.
According to Pelican CEO Clive Jackson, inDuality transmits about 95% of the SL experience from the world to the web. I got a head-over shoulder demonstration of him logging into Second Life, and I have to say, the plug-in moves smoothly and convincingly. Whether it becomes as revolutionary as the Sheep's OnRez viewer, however, is too early to say. I know I'll be watching it closely regardless.
Image credit: Pelican Crossing.com.